Founder Heather Rohrer harnessed the no-limit spending power of a charge card to fund the launch of her high-end med-spa business.
Heather Rohrer (right)
What does it take to open and run a successful med-spa in the heart of beauty-obsessed Las Vegas? Heather Rohrer knows. As the owner of Center for Aesthetic Medicine and Human Performance, she and her team provide patients with the most innovative nonsurgical aesthetic and regenerative procedures available in the U.S. – and business is booming.
“I love to help people,” says Rohrer, who has a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies and spent years working with top neurosurgeons and plastic surgeons. “I love the feeling of joy it brings me to help my clients feel more beautiful and confident. I’ve always had a very keen eye and I always knew I would make an impact in the medical field that would benefit people. I feel extremely blessed to have a career that is so fulfilling.”
Rohrer’s clients include everyone from locals and visitors, to such celebrities as Jersey Shore’s Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley, reality star Farrah Abraham, and model Carmen Ortega.
Because her business is doing so well, Rohrer has been able to help people who have limited access to medicine. She has been involved in numerous medical missions to countries in Asia and Central America, providing life-changing surgical procedures to individuals in underserved communities. Getting the practice off the ground, however, was a costly feat. For much of the funding, Rohrer brandished a high-powered piece of plastic.
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What was the beginning like for you, regarding access to credit so you could finance your business?
I have always taken a lot of responsibility and pride in my credit score. Having a high score has been absolutely critical, since it’s enabled me to secure the very best credit card options during the finance stages of my venture.
As a high-end med spa owner who offers the most advanced non-surgical aesthetic procedures, my startup costs included hundreds of thousands of dollars in inventory and equipment.
Had it not been for my positive credit history, I may have paid a ton of extra interest or even worse, not been approved at all to purchase all of the necessary products and equipment that I needed.
Starting up can be a crazy time. Have you ever slipped up and made any borrowing blunders?
I haven’t made any major mistakes in terms of credit cards, loans, and debt, thankfully, but I would say that I think it’s very important for business owners to only use their credit cards when absolutely necessary.
I’ve always been fearful of falling in debt, which I know can easily happen, especially when you’re in the startup process. I’m fortunate to have a husband and partner who is a financial whiz who has been able to help guide us along the way.
So, which credit product do you have for the business, and why?
I use the American Express® Gold Card. I chose this card because it’s very rewards-focused – cardholders can earn 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1 point per dollar), and 3 points per dollar spent on flights [booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com].It’s a charge card instead of a credit card, and because of that, I have to pay my balance in full every month. This way I’m never carrying over debt. The American Express Gold also has an annual fee of $250, and that’s a lot less than some of the other options offered by the company.
I’m constantly traveling with my family – this card not only rewards me for my flight purchases but also offers a ton of useful benefits, including free credit monitoring, roadside assistance, lost luggage reimbursement, purchase protection, and an extended warranty program on purchases.
The good thing about credit is that it enables me to buy inventory in bulk securely while rewarding me with a ton of membership points that I can use as cash back or for future flight credits.
Using a charge card helps me out significantly because I have no pre-set limit. That helps since I often have to make large purchases. If I used a credit card instead, the limit may not allow me to make the purchase or it could bring me close to my credit limit and throw my score off.
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What advice do you have for other small-business owners?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way is to spend responsibly. Only use your card for the things you need. A good credit history allows you a form of financial power that is absolutely priceless!
Remember, too, that revenue does not equal income. Pay yourself a comfortable salary and let your profit grow so you can reinvest in your business for the future.
Don’t get in the habit of wanting to “treat yourself” based on the amount of money you see your business bringing in – especially in the beginning. Let your money continue to grow and flourish while continuing to pay yourself your salary.
Finally, if you do make a mistake with credit, take a deep breath and put a strategy together to solve your issue. When starting, running, and maintaining a business, you’re going to make errors. Understand that and don’t beat yourself up when it happens.